UCLA Football Running Back Roster and Projected Depth Chart


Here is the second installment of our position previews for UCLA football. Last week we looked at the quarterback roster and potential depth chart, so now we venture over to the running backs and fullbacks.

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RELATED: UCLA Football Could Use Some More Power To Their Offense

UCLA Football RB Projected Depth Chart

1. Paul Perkins

Sep 6, 2014; Pasadena, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins running back Paul Perkins (24) carries the ball in the second half of the game against the Memphis Tigers at the Rose Bowl. UCLA won 42-35. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Pac-12’s leading rusher from a year ago is back for his junior year campaign and looking to turn more heads. Though he was at the top of most of the conference’s rushing statistics, he was snubbed by the Pac-12 coaches as he only received an All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention on offense. No worries though, he does not need accolades to prove that he is a stone, cold killer in the back field.

With quarterback Brett Hundley off to the NFL, Perkins is now “The Man” when it comes to UCLA’s offense. With a still unnamed starting QB, it is good to know that the running back position is locked down. But it gets even better… UCLA football has a lot of depth and talent behind Perkins.

2. Nate Starks

November 22, 2014; Pasadena, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins running back Nate Starks (23) runs the ball against the Southern California Trojans during the second half at the Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

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Starks is a wrecking ball. He was fourth on the team in rushing yards last year, but that was behind Perkins, Hundley and graduated senior Jordan James. Starks showed flashes of greatness, but was buried in the depth chart a bit. That will not be a problem this year as he will have the #2 spot all to himself.

If you did not follow UCLA football last season, the thing to know about Starks is the fact that he is a 5’1”, 205 lbs. bulldozer. On several occasions he has put the hit on the opposition trying to tackle him in the open field.

With the boom that he brings, Starks was able to not just make a statement but get a few extra yards doing it. This season, look for Starks to deliver a lot more crushing blows as well as well collect several more yards.

3. Craig Lee

Lee is a player the Bruins have been waiting to develop for a while and after this past Spring Practice, it looks like things are starting to click for him. He was a phenomenal athlete out of high school and was thought to be the next big Bruin RB, unfortunately, things did not develop so quickly for Lee.

That looks like it might have changed since last season. During Spring Practice, Lee was getting a lot of touches and looked good every time he put his hands on the ball. It is clear he still has to improve on a  few things, but for the most part, he has the speed and the skill to be a very dangerous running back.

4. Soso Jamabo

The #1 running back in the nation in high school is in Westwood. This guy has the talent to play but it will be interesting to see if he has the knowledge to grasp the offense. He is definitely the biggest running back on the Bruins at 6’2″, 210 lbs. so he has that to his advantage. If he adapts right away, there is a shot he could have the #3 spot on the depth chart.

5. Bolu Olorunfunmi

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If you do not know about Bolu, shame on you! We have heard about Jamabo a lot this last year, but now it is time to get to know the other running back from the 2015 class. Out of Clovis, CA (northeast of Fresno), Olorunfunmi is a bruising type of running back that does not mind making some contact, similar to Starks. He has the toughness to go right between the gaps and the quickness to get out to the edge.

His talent is good and will help him out, but he has to do the same thing as Jamabo and prove himself in a new system. It is a good thing they get an experienced offensive line to work behind as holes and assignments will be made, so if Olorunfunmi and Jamabo can capitalize on those opportunities, it will increase their chances of seeing playing time earlier.

6. Steven Manfro

Sep 21, 2013; Pasadena, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins running back Steven Manfro (33) runs with the ball during the game against the New Mexico State Aggies at the Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

A fan favorite, Manfro should be back for the 2015 season, but in what capacity is unknown. He was out last year and most of Spring Practice recovering from an ACL injury. Though he had improved in his first three years with the program, being out this long has allowed other players to get reps and as we have seen, there are quite a few good ones on the roster. If Manfro does not get reps, he should still see time on kick returns, should he continue with that.

7. Roosevelt Davis

Davis was another surprise out of Spring Practice and was a very noticeable figure. He had a lot of time to show his progress and he did that every time he got the ball as he often made something happen with it. Unfortunately there is a bit more talent ahead of him and he will see more time with the scout team.

8. Ryan Davis

Davis saw very little time on the field last year and should also work extensively with the scout team.

UCLA Football FB Projected Depth Chart

1. Nate Iese

Sep 25, 2014; Tempe, AZ, USA; UCLA Bruins fullback Nate Iese (32) catches a 3 yard touchdown during the first half against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

A good blocker out of the back field one year, a receiver in the short yard passing plays the next. Iese was involved with the offense a lot more in 2014 and that should increase this fall. He had 11 more catches than the previous year with 12 that went for 70 yards and 2 TDs.

His role should stay the same but come with more plays his way. Who knows what offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone will throw his way this season.

2. Taylor Lagace

Lagace has not played a lot of at this position but will see a lot of time on special teams.